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I was laid off and I'm still waiting for the unemployment benefits to come through. Can I temporarily apply for welfare?

El Cajon, CA |

I have two children to support and I don't think I can pay rent this month. What is welfare exactly and do I need to get off it once unemployment comes through? Thank you for your help in this difficult time.

Attorney Answers 2


  1. I'm sorry to hear that. Yes, you can apply for welfare benefits and in fact as part of the application you will need to prove that you have already applied for UIB. You may be eligible for food stamps, cash benefits, and/or medical insurance. It will depend on your income and resources, as well as who is living with you in your home. You should ask about any emergency benefits if you have very little cash and can't pay any of your bills. As soon as your UIB (or any other income) comes in, you will need to report that to the welfare office. You should apply immediately, as it can take up to 45 days to get a decision on your application.

    This "answer" does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. It is meant for general information purposes only.


  2. I am an employment attorney and cannot comment on your public assistance question. I write to provide some more information about unemployment benefits. The California Employment Development Department (EDD) administers the state's unemployment program. EDD is terribly understaffed and its employees are overworked; the state budget crisis cut its funding at the same time the numbers of people applying for benefits has soared. It's a bad situation for many people and I'm sorry you are also caught up in this.

    It is very difficult to reach EDD by phone these days, but you can check the status of your unemployment benefits claim on-line here: https://askedd.edd.ca.gov/asp/frmEDDCOMM.aspx

    I hope things work out for you.

    * * * PLEASE READ: All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. * * * Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. * * * No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. * * *

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